The Quakers

By Hugh Barbour; J. William Frost | Go to book overview

6
ENGLAND, 1660-1689:
PERSECUTION, THEOLOGY,
AND THE UNIVERSALIZING
OF TRUTH

Early Quaker theology and political thought, like Quaker worship and ethics, took two forms: the "Lamb's War" radicalism of the 1650s and a more universalistic, tolerant view in the 1670s after a decade of harsh persecution had shown that the Spirit in Friends would survive but not conquer the world. Under pressure Quakers became clearer in doctrine and more creative in politics, as they tested the universality of truth, whereas ethical discipline within the Society of Friends became more rigid through struggles over unity and consistency in moral truth.


THEOLOGY AND DOCTRINE

For Fox and early Friends doctrines were weapons in "the Lamb's War." Debate flourished because puritan pastors challenged the Quakers on doctrinal rather than ethical issues. Since Friends believed their moral warnings were prophetic messages from God, they had to defend their doctrines as divinely inspired too; nor could Quakers leave any challenge unanswered lest silence might imply defeat. 1 Often they argued with a pastor in his church and then felt driven by interruptions to finish the debate in print. They published their defenses in law courts, like two of Friends' first three tracts: Fox's and James Nayler's Saul's Errand to Damascus and Thomas Aldam's Brief Discovery (both 1653). The Puritan Commonwealth saw the greatest outburst of print before modern times, including sermons, newsheets, and thousands of tracts. Friends published more per head than any other group: before 1660, 540 books and tracts, of which 165 were theological debates; 3,759 before 1700, including 797 debating docrines. Fox's and later William Penn's* were the most numerous, but there were 650 early Quaker authors, including 82 women (though only 8 percent of the women's tracts were doctrinal). 2 Their opponents included the best-trained spiritual leaders of their time: Puritans Richard Baxter and John Owen, Baptists

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The Quakers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Denominations in America ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Series Foreword xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Part One the Quakers: A History of Friends in America 1
  • 1: Introduction 3
  • 2: The Religious Setting of the Early Friends 11
  • 3 - The Lamb's War and the Awakening of the North of England 35
  • 4: Quaker Worship and Ethics and Their Transformation, 1652-1662 39
  • 5 - The Mission to America 58
  • 6: England, 1660-1689 61
  • 7: The Quaker Colonies 73
  • 8: A Tolerated Society of Friends 83
  • 9: A Spiritual Existence 95
  • 10: A Disciplined Christian Life 107
  • 11: Crisis and Reformation 119
  • 12: The American Revolutions 137
  • 13: Quaker Migrants to Carolina and the Midwest; Eastern Philanthropists 153
  • 14: Separations 169
  • 15: The Midcontinent in the Midcentury, 1828-1867 185
  • 16: West and Midwest, 1867- 1902 203
  • 17: The Liberal Transformation 219
  • 18: Suburban and College Friends 231
  • 19: Creativity in Peacemaking 247
  • 20: Social Service and Social Change, 1902-1970 261
  • 21: New Forms of Quaker Interaction, 1960-1987 271
  • Part Two a Biographical Dictionary of Former Quaker Leaders in America 281
  • A 285
  • B 287
  • C 301
  • D 311
  • E 313
  • F 315
  • G 321
  • H 327
  • J 337
  • K 343
  • L 347
  • M 351
  • P 357
  • R 363
  • S 365
  • T 369
  • U 371
  • V 373
  • W 375
  • Appendix: Chronology 381
  • Bibliographic Essay 385
  • Index 393
  • About the Authors 409
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